SLEEP: You Snooze, You Win!

Hi dear heart, 

Now here’s an idea I can totally get behind, “sleeping our way to the top!”

Arianna Huffington author of the book, The Sleep Revolution, is clearly an advocate for sleep, and as she says “sleeping our way to the top.” In a 2010 TEDWomen talk, Huffington explained that she learned the importance of sleep the hard way, after fainting from exhaustion. “I hit my head on my desk. I broke my cheekbone. I had five stitches on my right eye. So I began the journey of rediscovering the value of sleep,” she says.

So you see, that’s why you snooze, you win!

Why is sleep important?

Sleep is vital to your health, both mentally and physically. For adults, sleep is when the body and mind repair itself. Your immune system goes to work while you sleep, fighting diseases and infections.

Sleep also repairs your brain at night. When you lack sleep, it’s harder for you to learn, make decisions and solve problems. If you do not get enough sleep over time, your mental health can deteriorate.

The easiest way to adopt a healthier lifestyle in the morning is by getting enough sleep at night. How do we do that?Create an evening routine to help you UNWIND.

Taking 30 to 90 minutes to decelerate at the end of a hectic day and do things, which will calm your mind, is one of the most beneficial sleep habits to implement.

Here are my suggestions for what I found works. 

  • Aromatherapy 
  • Cool Down
  • Drink Chamomile tea 
  • Journal your Gratitude
  • Make your bedroom a sacred space
  • Meditate
  • Put your technology away
  • Salt Bath
  • Sound Bath
  • Stretch (Yoga)
  • Read

Aromatherapy

Lavender is believed to have an exotic history dating back as far as 2,500 years. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans used lavender. Today several studies demonstrate the effectiveness of lavender for relieving sleep issues including those published in The Journal of Science and Healing and The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,

I am a long time fan of the go to sleepy time scent and always carry some with me. Spray it, diffuse it, put it on your pillow, and put some behind your ears. Any which way but use it and watch the quality of your sleep improve.

Cool Down

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the ideal bedroom temperature for sleeping is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 and 19.4 degrees Celsius). 

Drink Chamomile Tea

There’s something so wonderful about slowly drinking a warm cup of tea.Chamomile has some unique properties that may benefit the quality of your sleep.It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia, or the chronic inability to sleep. It is rich in some powerful antioxidants like flavones that have a variety of health benefits, including improved sleep, lowering blood pressure, and reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Journal your Gratitude

Every night write in a journal what you are grateful for today. There’s a shift that happens in all of us when we learn to focus on what’s right with our lives, instead of rewinding the day and thinking of what went wrong.  For more inspiration read my article 25 Favorite Gratitude Quotes to Bless up Your Life. Start your journaling off with this mantra:My heart is grateful for… 

Use my Sleep Checklistto make it easy.

Meditate

Meditating is one of the healthist rituals to take up. It helps decreases stress levels and gives you peace of mind. It will help you with your impulses and reactions to stressful events. The benefits of meditating are endless and include better memory, more creativity, and less anxiety. Studies show it’s benefit to deep sleep. Try starting your meditation tonight with these affirmations.

I am calm and peaceful

My mind is restful

My body is relaxed

Make your bedroom a sacred space

Get rid of the clutter so the space feels calmer. Make a rule that nothing with screens is allowed. Think about it, you spend 1/3 of your life in bed, so make sure its comfortable, and you have the right sheets and blankets to create a cozy cocoon that will ensure a beautiful night’s sleep.

Put Your Technology Away

To me this is the most important thing you can do to improve the quality of your evening. 

Turn off the television, Internet, and phone at least one hour before bedtime. You want to signal to your body that it’s time to relax. By shutting off the stimulation early that keeps you awake, you’ll have more time to decompress.

Turn it Off 

We have all heard this before and yet we all ignore it. The light in our phone and laptop literally keeps us awake. So shut down phone & laptop time at least two hours before going to bed. If this is impossible, iPhones have a night mode that you can change in your settings. This changes the color of the light output on your phone and is less likely to keep your brain awake and alert. I use flux on my laptop to do the same. 

Here are 4 reasons why it’s not a good idea to use them the hour before going to sleep:

  • They stimulate your brain.
  • The light that some devices emit might affect your internal body clock. If you can’t separate yourself from your phone, at least put the blue light filter on and dim the screen brightness.
  • They can be addictive, eating into even more sleep time.
  • Checking emails, the news and even social media at night can create worry and stress.

Salt Bath

Baths have been praised for not only their relaxing qualities, but also to physical and mental well-being.When it comes to adding salts to a bath, the most common are, Epsom Salt and Sea Salt. Epsom and sea salts contain beneficial nutrients such as, magnesium and sulfate. Due to the depleted levels of magnesium in our food and the imbalance of nutrients in the foods, most people are deficient, sometimes dangerously deficient, in magnesium, which is the second most abundant element in our bodies. Because the skin is the largest organ and has wonderful little holes known as pores, it has the amazing ability to absorb, filter toxins and deliver nutrients to the body. This is why a salt bath helps. 

THE BENEFITS OF ADDING SALTS TO BATHS

·       Aids in better sleep

·       Amazing stress reliever

·       Soothes and calms aching muscles 

·       Improves circulation

·       Helps with absorbing nutrients

·       Relieves headaches

·       Aids in relieving joint pain

·       Great for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne

Sound Bath

Sound-healing is an ancient practice scientifically linked to reductions in stress and anxiety. What is a sound bath?An immersion in sound frequency that cleans the soul.

Why call it a bath?People describe what they feel like they are being submerged in sound, like the sound waves are washed in waves of water. They use words like “cleansed” and “cleared” to describe their experience. Researchers have found that sound waves affect the human nervous system and decrease blood pressure and improve sleep. There is also new research on the benefits of binaural beats, which is when two tones at slightly different frequencies are played in unison. These sounds have been found to reduce anxiety levels, as well as enhance mood states.

Before you try it here is a helpful hint: Sound waves carry on water, and the more hydrated you are, the more likely the frequencies will have a penetrating effect.

Stretch

Studies show yoga can even help chronic insomnia sufferers get better sleep. Yoga lowers our stress levels, relieves tension we didn’t know we were holding in our body, it has been shown to create a more balanced mind, body connection so we aren’t wired and tired. 

Read

Reading before bed is a healthy habit to better our sleep quality Accordingto a Research by the University of Sussex, reading for even six minutes can reduce our stress levels by as high as 68 percent!Reading calms not just our mind, but also our body. Our body becomes tired from our day’s activities and reading before bed acts as a transition between a working body to shutting it off for sleep.Once our body and mind are relaxed, our sleep quality improves. 

Click here for a handy SLEEP Checklist to establish your Bedtime Rituals.